White Papers and Reports


Proceedings from the following USSD Annual Conferences are available online. Each paper is downloadable as a .pdf file.

Dams and Extreme Events — Reducing Risk of Aging Infrastructure under Extreme Loading Conditions
34th Annual USSD Conference
San Francisco, California, April 7-11, 2014

Changing Times — The Challenges and Risks of Managing Aging Infrastructure Under a New Financial Reality
33rd Annual USSD Conference
Phoenix, Arizona, February 11-15, 2013

Innovative Dam and Levee Design and Construction for Sustainable Water Management
32nd Annual USSD Conference
New Orleans, Louisiana, April 23-27, 2012

21st Century Dam Design — Advances and Adaptations
31st Annual USSD Conference
San Diego, California, April 11-15, 2011

Collaborative Management of Integrated Watersheds
30th Annual USSD Conference
Sacramento, California, April 12-16, 2010

Managing Our Water Retention Systems
29th Annual USSD Conference
Nashville, Tennessee, April 20-24, 2009

The Sustainability of Experience — Investing in the Human Factor
28th Annual USSD Conference
Portland, Oregon, April 28 - May 2, 2008

Modernization and Optimization of Existing Dams and Reservoirs
27th Annual USSD Conference
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 5-9, 2007

The Role of Dams in the 21st Century
26th Annual USSD Conference
San Antonio, Texas, May 1-6, 2006

White Papers and Reports

Monitoring Levees (2016). The importance of monitoring programs for dams is widely accepted. Historically, monitoring of levees has received less attention, except during intensive visual inspection efforts made during flood events. This White Paper addresses monitoring issues for levees, in an effort to provide information and perspective regarding this topic to professionals working in the fields of levees and levee performance monitoring. The USSD Committee on Levees and the USSD Committee on Monitoring of Dams and Their Foundations prepared this White Paper.

Guidelines for Dam Decommissioning Projects (2015). The USSD Committee on Dam Decommissioning has prepared these Guidelines to provide dam owners, dam engineers, and other professionals with the information necessary to help guide decision-making when considering dam removal as a project alternative. The Guidelines will help in the development and execution of a successful dam decommissioning project, which would include all necessary activities associated with the removal of a dam and restoration of the river, from project planning through design and implementation.

Modeling Sediment Movement in Reservoirs (2015). This report, prepared by the USSD Committee on Hydraulics of Dams, Subcommittee on Reservoir Sedimentation, describes application of mathematical models to reservoir sedimentation, including the issues of selecting an appropriate transport function, sediment delivery to reservoirs, deposition patterns, and modeling specific reservoir sediment management strategies.

Guidelines for Construction Cost Estimating for Dam Engineers and Owners. Guidelines for Construction Cost Estimating for Dam Engineers and Owners was prepared by the USSD Committee on Construction and Rehabilitation. The White Paper provides support for responsible cost estimating for new dams and dam rehabilitation projects. It has been written for engineers and owners engaged in the planning, design and construction of dam-related engineering projects anticipated to cost up to $100 million. This represents the collaborative effort of representatives from federal agencies, public utilities, private engineering companies and construction contractors. Stages of project design and associated estimates, the development of a work breakdown structure, direct and indirect project costs, overhead, contingency, profit, and other owner costs are addressed as they relate to responsible cost estimating. Examples of Work Breakdown Structures for various sized projects are also presented.

Observed Performance of Dams During Earthquakes. The USSD Committee on Earthquakes has published three reports on this topic since 1992. Volume I includes general observations on the performance of embankment and concrete dams, along with 11 case histories and a table with a comprehensive listing of dams affected by earthquakes. Volume II (2000) provides an updated commentary, and contains 12 case histories and an updated table. Volume III (2014), as with the earlier two volumes, includes general observations, an updated table and detailed descriptions of observed performance for 12 selected dams. In addition, a Bibliography on Performance of Dams During Earthquakes was published in 1984.

Development of a Dam Safety Instrumentation Program. A well designed and executed instrumentation monitoring program can provide information that is needed for a solid understanding of the ongoing performance of a dam and may help detect early warning signs of trouble. A good dam safety monitoring program should be a key part of every dam owner’s risk management program. This White Paper was prepared by the USSD Committee on Monitoring of Dams and Their Foundations.

Instrumentation Data Collection, Management and Analysis. The purpose of a dam instrumentation and monitoring program is to monitor the ongoing performance of the project so that conditions of concern can be quickly identified and properly addressed. Proper data collection, management, and analysis are vital for identifying and responding to these conditions so that the project can be operated safely. This White Paper was prepared by the USSD Committee on Monitoring of Dams and Their Foundations.

Routine Instrumented and Visual Monitoring of Dams Based on Potential Failure Modes Analysis describes the relationship between the PFMA process and instrumented and visual monitoring of dams. This White Paper was prepared by the USSD Committee on Monitoring of Dams and Their Foundations.

Materials for Embankment Dams is a report prepared by the USSD Committee on Materials for Embankment Dams. The report provides an outline of important points that need to be recognized and understood when selecting material for use in embankment dams.

The Aging of Embankment Dams is a White Paper prepared by the USSD Committee on Materials for Embankment Dams. The White Paper is of interest to owners of dams and those responsible for the safety of existing dams. The report notes that there are aging processes, and a project may develop aging characteristics which need to be examined, studied and remedied to preclude a safety issue.

Why Include Instrumentation in Dam Monitoring Programs? is a white paper prepared by the USSD Monitoring of Dams and Their Foundations. An effective dam safety monitoring program is essential for dam owners to manage the risks associated with the operations and maintenance of a dam. The use of instrumentation can improve the dam owner's ability to monitor the on-going safe performance of the dam by providing more comprehensive and timelier information.

Strength of Materials for Embankment Dams is a white paper prepared by the USSD Committee on Materials for Embankment Dams. The paper is intended to be a "living document" that presents the "state of the practice" for determining fill strength parameters for earthfill embankment dams and the static analysis of embankment dams.

The Executive Summary of Planning Processes for the Development of Dams and Reservoirs - Public Involvement and Alternatives Analysis: A Framework for Successful Decision-Making is based on a USSD White Paper that is now available. The White Paper presents a multidisciplinary decision-making process for the development of dams and reservoirs focusing on public involvement and the analysis of alternatives.

Summary of USSD White Paper on Dam Safety Risk Assessment, encapsulates a newly released USSD publication White Paper on Dam Safety Risk Assessment: What Is It? Who's Using It and Why? Where Should We Be Going With It? To purchase the 41-page publication, link to USSD Publications for Sale.

Site design and development by HermitHouse.Com